Book 1 Walk 30 : Wivenhoe Circular
with Rowhedge Regata http://www.rowhedge-regatta.co.uk/
floated as a little extra
14.8km (9.2 miles)
2 out of 10
Explorer 184 or Landranger 168 https://www.walkingclub.org.uk/book_1/walk_30/map.shtml
Take the 10.18 out of Liverpool St arriving Wivenhoe at 11.23
Trains back at XX.23 direct or XX.32 with a change
The ferry starts at 13.30 and finishes at 17.00 but you best check this on the day as with the Regata on it may have changed and there was a recent error in the printing of the timetable http://www.rowhoeferry.co.uk/p/fares.html I post this walk at the suggestion of one of the walk posters as it is Rowhedge Regatta http://www.rowhedge-regatta.co.uk/ on this Saturday (Wivenhoe's was last Saturday apparently) so you may wish to skip one of the loops in the walk to watch the boats and presumably the stalls and general village fete atmosphere or you may choose to do both halves of the walks but also enjoy the eye candy of the boats on the water.
You will be able to do the Wivenhoe leg of the walk first before catching the ferry.
The fare per passenger is £1.50 per trip which is less than the ferry’s upkeep cost and the ferry relies on donations to keep it going.
Allow at least two hours for the Rowhedge leg and leave plenty of time to get back to the ferry
before the last crossing back to Wivenhoe. If you miss the ferry back, you could catch a bus or a
taxi into Colchester.
This walk is made up of two loops, one on the Wivenhoe side of the river Colne and one on the
Rowhedge side. However, there is no bridge - you need to take a ferry. This means the full walk is
only possible at weekends and on bank holiday Mondays between Easter and the middle of October
when the ferry at Wivenhoe is working (although you might be lucky enough to thumb a lift across
from a boat at other times). It is well worth making the extra effort to fit in this unusual walk.
Each part of the walk is round figures 7km, so allow 2 hours for each.
Wivenhoe, perhaps because of its proximity to the University of Essex, is a remarkable village
bursting with community spirit, with volunteers out there constantly manning the ferry, re-roofing
the boat house or washing down the slipways. There are always half a dozen dinghies being made
by amateurs in the riverside’s Nottage Maritime Institute. From the church and town, the morning’s
walk is along the mudflats of the River Colne past zones of former dereliction (now in the course of
regeneration through new housing), past a £14.5 million flood surge barrier, and past sand-
extraction works and lakes created in old extraction craters. Returning to Wivenhoe, catch the ferry
over to the village of Rowhedge.
Rowhedge must be the only village in the UK where swans frequently block the main high street.
But having circumvented this fearsome obstacle, you go via the church into a wood controlled by
the Ministry of Defence and used on occasions as a firing range. The last part of the return journey
is the highlight of the day: passing the lovely Norman Church of St Andrew in Fingringhoe, with its
chequerboard design of banded flint, to the former Fingringhoe Mill and on along the John
Brunning Walk – mudflats and saltmarshes beside Roman River and a haven for heron, redshank,
lapwing, shelduck, kestrels and barn owls. Lunch
On the Wivenhoe side
You should arrive at the suggested lunch which is the Rose & Crown pub (tel. 01206-826371) on
The Quay at about 13.10 It serves food from midday to 7 pm
The ferry should start at 13.30
The ferry should finish at 17.00
Best to check when you go over Tea
You have several options for tea back on the Wivenhoe side of the river:
The Rose & Crown pub.
The Tudor Tea Rooms on the High Street (closed on Sundays).
The Greyhound pub (tel. 01206-825573) on the High Street, near the start of the walk, now open on
Sundays, and serves “Black Sheep” beer.
The Black Buoy pub (tel. 01206-822425) on East Street.
The Station pub (tel. 01206-822991) next to Wivenhoe railway station.
The Nottage Maritime Institute sometimes serves tea and cakes in the afternoon, up to 5 pm.
If you have time for tea on the Rowhedge side, your options are The Anchor pub or Ye Olde Albion
More info here https://www.walkingclub.org.uk/book_1/walk_30/index.shtml